“A Brief History of Holly Springs”
Holly Springs was founded by European-Americans in 1836, on territory historically occupied by Chickasaw Indians for centuries before the Indian Removal Act. It served as a trading center for the neighboring cotton plantations. It was originally called Suavatooky but in 1837 the city was incorporated and renamed Holly Springs and made the seat of government for the newly created Marshall County.
More and more white settlers came to this area when it was found that the soil was richly fertile and cotton became the cash crop with cultivation and harvest done largely by the slave population. The city became the center of antebellum culture in north Mississippi.
By 1855, Holly Springs was connected to Grand Junction, Tennessee, by the advancing Mississippi Central Railroad. When the line was completed to Holly Springs, cotton was easily shipped to market and the plantation economy grew richer. Toward the end of the century, the Kansas City, Memphis and Birmingham Railroad was constructed to intersect with this line.
During the Civil War, these railroad connections were increasingly important to both North and South. Union General Ulysses Grant used Holly Springs as a supply depot and headquarters. Confederate General Earl Van Dorn raided and burned much of Grant’s supplies in December 1862. As a consequence, much of the town and the Courthouse were burned by the Yankees.
In 1878, as the city was rebuilding its economy and society, the city suffered a yellow fever epidemic in which over 2,000 residents died. The existing county Courthouse, at the center of Holly Springs was used as a hospital during the epidemic.
Holly Springs is fortunate in having an Audubon Sanctuary which is located 3 miles north of the town where an annual Hummingbird Migration Celebration is held in early in September. For additional information, you may call 662-252-1155, the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center.
Come Visit Holly Springs!
This area was home to the Chickasaw Indians. During the early 1700s, white settlers moved to the Mississippi area in search of rich soil for farms and plantations. In 1736, the Chickasaw helped British soldiers to defeat the French who were attacking the Indians for raiding French settlers in southern Mississippi. This led north Mississippi to become involved in the French and Indian War. The Treaty of Paris, signed to end the War, gave England all the land east of the Mississippi River. The original Mississippi Territory created by the US Congress in 1798 was a strip of land that consisted of 100 miles north to south and from the Mississippi River to the Chattahoochee on the Georgia border.